Metal Church are hitting the road, but you'll find a face you didn't expect handling their guitar duties. Trans-Siberian Orchestra and Savatage axeman Chris Caffery is stepping in for the band's usual guitarist Rick Van Zandt on their upcoming dates.

In a Facebook posting, Caffery revealed the news, explaining that Van Zandt had a serious eye condition that was keeping him off the road for the time being.

"I'm really excited to announce that I will be playing guitar with the mighty Metal Church on their upcoming U.S. tour," revealed Caffery. "Their guitarist Rick had a serious eye condition develop that needed surgery and we all pray for his continued, speedy and successful recovery."

He went on to add, "It will be a lot of fun to play with my longtime bandmate Jeff Plate and the guys. The first time I toured with Kurdt, his band Vanderhoof was opening for Savatage. Then my solo band opened for Metal Church on my Faces tour! Steve was on bass then at the time, all of these guys are amazing musicians. It's gonna be so awesome to hear Mike Howe every night! I watched him on the cruise and was blown away at how incredible his voice is! If you don't have your tickets yet...what are you waiting for! It's time to go to Church! Lots of work on my end in the next few weeks but I can't wait to play this stuff live!"

The band's tour launches March 24 in Portland, Maine. They'll be supporting the upcoming release of their XI album, which is due on March 25. Pre-order bundles for the disc are available at this location. Dates for the Metal Church tour can be found here.

Most Anticipated Hard Rock + Metal Albums of 2016

10 Unforgettable Onstage Reunions

More From Noisecreep